Monday, January 12, 2009

2009: The Illusion of Design

January 8 2009

Friends and Naysayers,

New year's resolutions are the personal equivalent of financial projections and business plans for companies, forever subject to the unpredictable crashes and booms of outrageous fortune. I will not succumb to anything as delusional as a resolution, but I will project my year as clearly as I can see it from here, and perhaps the illusion of design will adapt it to the projection, or at least provide some entertainment value in retrospect.

Why would I burden you with a year in preview? Because I would like to solicit input on new projects I am undertaking, and solicit gigs from those of you who are interested in my projects, be they Chaucerian, Orwellian, or Darwinian.

January I will spend here in Vancouver working on my new show, "The Rap Guide to Evolution", which was commissioned recently by the Bioscience Department of the University of Birmingham. One of the professors there, Dr. Mark Pallen (a bacterial geneticist), asked me if I would be willing to "do for Darwin what I did for Chaucer" and I responded that it would be an honour.

So in February I will travel to England for a ten day tour of Darwin-related events and venues organized by Dr. Pallen and his team. February marks the Charles Darwin Bicentennial and universities and natural history museums around the world will be celebrating the patron saint of biology. The show is currently undergoing the murky embryological process by which compositions are formed, so if any of you have any thoughts on the subject of evolution, I'm all ears (for the next three weeks or so). I'm currently trying to make sense of it from as many angles as possible.

March and April will consist of school touring in the USA, mostly with the Rap Canterbury Tales, but also with the North American debut of the Rap Guide at the Fresno Rogue Festival. If any of you know of a college, high school, or any venue at all where I could spin a yarn or two in the States in March or April, my RCT program information is online, just click here.

Oh yes, and in late April I will travel to Hong Kong for the Hong Kong Microfest (a theatre festival), my first trip to the far East!

May and early June will about one thing and one thing only: treeplanting. Nuff said.

Then in June I will return to the UK to reunite with Dizraeli for another season of performing "The Rebel Cell" (think 8-Mile meets 1984). A production company from London, SPL Productions, is taking on the show for 2009, re-working it for a larger audience, and orchestrating a tour of UK
festivals, a return to the Edinburgh Fringe in August, and finally a West End run at a theatre in London in September/October. The details have yet to be worked out, but the tour is confirmed and we are very excited to be working with these guys to resurrect our Orwellian hip-hop parable.

Since nothing is finalized for the post-August portion of 2009 I will stop there for now, and reveal more only as it is revealed to me.

And what else is new? Aaron Nazrul's song "When the Night" will be featured on the new Beverly Hills 90210 airing on CBS network TV on January 13th. He and the band are currently on tour in Central America, and have been creating video blogs along the way, so if you're curious to see what's up with them check the Myspace page.

Looking forward to hopefully seeing many of you during my travels in 2009, and a happy and prosperous new year to you all,


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